enter image description here
A Billion for Yamal: The Whole World Is After a 16-Year-Old Kid

Barca turned down the biggest deal in football history.

With his historic goal, Lamine Yamal brought Spain back into the game. It marked the end of the French era under Didier Deschamps. At least, that's the sentiment in France, where journalists annoyed the coach with questions about his future, and the media trolled the main symbol of the national team for the past six years, Kylian Mbappe.

L'Equipe gave the newly minted Real Madrid forward a humiliating 3/10 rating, and one of the loudest headlines in the local press read: "Mbappe took off his mask to see Yamal's goal." The 16-year-old Lamine has already broken more than ten significant records. He saved the main one — the youngest goal in Euro history — for his 17th birthday, which the teenager will celebrate on July 13. Although, considering the final is on the 14th — who knows? Maybe he will give himself another present in the final? After all, birthdays aren't celebrated in advance.

French media recalled how little Lamine accompanied Sergio Ramos to El Clasico in 2016. That was when Mbappe's star shone—at the same age of 16. Fans and experts after his phenomenal season at Monaco declared: he should lead football when Messi and Ronaldo leave. But Kylian is already 25, and Leo and Cristiano haven't left yet. Moreover, while Mbappe entertained himself in Ligue 1, simultaneously mastering the basics of business, marketing, and politics, young Lamine burst into football.

Journalists believe he is now the main contender to start his collection of Ballon d'Ors. But with a caveat: if he doesn't repeat Kylian's path. It's debatable — Mbappe's path led him to Real Madrid. But the press was very upset about their national team's exit. And against the backdrop of Kylian's departure to Spain, news came from France about PSG's interest in Yamal, where, after Mbappe's departure, a spot opened up under the cozy Parisian sun.

And the interest, as reported by the EFE agency, is serious — the capital club offered Barcelona €250 million for the wunderkind! Lamine's transfer would have become the most expensive in football history, surpassing Neymar's deal.

But... or rather, there are two "buts." First, the management of the Catalan club declined. Either the buyout clause of €1 billion or continue enjoying Ousmane Dembele's scoring exploits. Second, it seems Lamine himself isn't keen on moving to Paris, seemingly confirming the sentiments of the French press.

Moreover, Barca appears to be actively working on the transfer of Nico Williams, with whom Lamine has excellent on-field chemistry in national team games. They are also close friends off the field. So, Yamal has no reason to change clubs now. And even if he did, the astronomical buyout clause will unlikely be met by anyone in the coming years. But offers will surely come — after the Euros, Lamine will become a hot commodity on the market.

Published by Patrick Jane